Jenn Satinsky Jasmine! This post is super old but still super helpful. As a new photographer looking for tips now, these come in handy. Thanks so much! 03.13.13 - 7:48am
Haley Johnston You posted this a while ago, but I found it so helpful! Thanks so much Jasmine! :) 11.22.11 - 12:27am
Abby Grace Photography
This is really helpful. Sometimes I forget what a difference the aperture makes in terms of lighting- I only ever pay attention to teh difference it makes in my DOF. Thanks for this! 05.12.11 - 4:00pm
S.J. @APPLE Get the 50mm 1.2 it is seriously my favorite lens all around, it is the only lens I use for portraits, I only use my other lenses for weddings... it is expensive but TOTALLY worth it... I've never looked back haha! 05.12.11 - 2:06pm
You are such a doll Jasmine. You keep so many of us inspired and are so very appreciated :) thank you heaps! 08.17.10 - 2:53am
you're such an amazing gem for taking the time to post your secrets for how you work. you're a very inspiring woman, professionally and as a person. i hope you know that! 08.09.10 - 3:13pm
thanks jasmine! this totally helped! especially since i'm thinking of getting a new lens.. note to self: must totally consider max aperture!!! still undecided though. wish me luck!:) 08.06.10 - 8:51am
I love your FAQ posts! Thanks for sharing! 08.03.10 - 10:14am
Thank you for posting all the specs of the photos! This helps tremendously. 08.03.10 - 2:29am
Great post!!! I love your images; My only question is what is your reasoning for using high iso outside in bright sun with high shutter and wide open aperture? Is it for the depth of field? Thanks!!! 07.30.10 - 6:07pm
Girl you rock any kind of lighing situation... and your FAQ posts rock too! :) 07.26.10 - 10:14pm
Great post, and great examples. Slow shutter speeds are a lot about breathing technique, and you definitely have that down as your photos show! 07.24.10 - 11:35pm
thanks, Jasmine. I noticed most of your shutters were slow (1/40). Do you use a monopod? or just hold your breath? Thanks. ;) 07.22.10 - 12:04pm
I truly adore you!!!!!! I just shot an engagement session. 8 o'clock at night. Talk about horrible lighting. Or shall I say no lighting. Grrr! I need a Marky Mark to make my day!!! So ready to get a camera with higher ISO settings. Thanks for the info babe. You are a keeper! 07.22.10 - 1:13am
THANK YOU so much for sharing! I love that you are so open with the photog community!! 07.21.10 - 11:38pm
I've been afraid to put my ISO that high but now that I know what you can get with it I'm definitely trying it the next time I'm in a dark church or event. Thanks for the post! 07.21.10 - 11:21pm
when you shoot with such a high ISO, do you not get a grainy print? 07.21.10 - 6:44pm
I notice that your images don't have noise in them. What software do you use to get the noise out?
Thank you! :) 07.21.10 - 6:21pm
a little bit of whimsy photography
you talked about holding your breath some time ago (on your blog). i tried it and
viola... it works great.. use it all the time!!
just have to remember to grab a quick breath in between all the action. (smile) 07.21.10 - 5:07pm
SO great to read this! I LOVE my 5DMII and will trying out these settings as soon as possible for practice! 07.21.10 - 3:54pm
john p. This is dope yo. thx. 07.21.10 - 2:59pm
Excellent info Jasmine. Thank you for sharing your settings. There is a historic church where I live that does not allow flash, and you must stay behind the third row of seats. 07.21.10 - 1:58pm
Thank you for being so honest and open with all your info- your FAQ are my wedding photography school - thanks! 07.21.10 - 12:58pm
Jasmine, first time commenter, long time follower.
Do you use a tripod with the 70-200 or are you utilizing the IS feature of the lens to shoot at the slow shutter speeds? 07.21.10 - 11:41am
Vicki Thank you so much for this post and all the great FAQs that have come before it. I just found your blog a couple of weeks ago and have been hooked! It is a wealth of information and you are such an inspiration to me! 07.21.10 - 11:35am
Are you hand holding at those low shutter speeds??? Amazing, thank you for the wonderful information! 07.21.10 - 7:24am
Always love your faq posts Jasmine. This is another great one :) 07.21.10 - 6:35am
Great post, Jasmine... very helpful. How do you keep your hand from shaking when the shutter speed was 1/40 or 1/25 of a second? Do you use a tripod? 07.21.10 - 6:04am
For someone who doesn't like to use flash, you certainly use one very well. Beautiful images as always J.
Emma - THN 07.21.10 - 4:26am
Jasmine, thank you so much for your tips! I'm shooting my first on-my-own wedding coming up shortly, and I'm nervous. This helped me a ton! 07.21.10 - 12:46am
Lukas Siewior I can never understand the no-flash rule in the churches. In this picture you just posted: http://www.jasminestarblog.com/images/content/BlogDarkCeremonies0006.jpg there are at least 5 ppl with cameras which will fire flash. And that's not a problem for officiant/priest ? 07.20.10 - 9:44pm
Wonderful comparisons...thanks so much for sharing like you do... 07.20.10 - 9:37pm
Living in CT, I deal with indoor ceremonies and dark reception halls ALL the time. THANKS so much for posting this Jas!! I always wondered what your church shots looked like. (they're amazing) I was with Mike@Esvy on wondering how you handle dark reception halls. I saw the waay earlier posts about your off camera lighting, but is there anything-else like what if you're at F2.8 1/8th of a second? Do you just use rear curtain sync and freeze them with the flash? 07.20.10 - 9:22pm
I'm sure that another comment and your site might crash ! But just want to say, like everyone has, that it's really so nice of you to spend the time on a post such as this. I rarely ever shoot in dark places (plus not a wedding photographer anyway), but this is all great info. Thanks! 07.20.10 - 9:01pm
Awesome post. That 3rd shot down of the church is just gorgeous! 07.20.10 - 8:15pm
amory thank you for this! beautiful. 07.20.10 - 7:08pm
Awesome post Jasmine! And I never even considered holding my breath instead of using a tripod. It sounds like it's a heck of a lot less bulky (: 07.20.10 - 6:11pm
Thanks so much for sharing! It is amazing how giving you are with your knowledge Jasmine - not all people are like that - so thank you! I look forward to hearing your reception w/on camera flash tips - those are the situations I struggle with the most - big, windowless reception halls!! 07.20.10 - 5:31pm
You are so wonderful Jasmin! This post is awesome! So great to see these images, such helpful information and beautiful imagery - you are a true blessing to photographers everywhere - THANK YOU!!!! 07.20.10 - 5:18pm
Victoria de Martigny
Jasmine, first let me say that you are truly an inspiration, not just for your wonderful photography, but for your willingness to share so openly with the community. It is so refreshing to find a great photographer who is secure enough to share and educate those of us who are up-and-comers. Thank-you, thank-you, THANK-YOU for that!!
Secondly, your low-light photos are wonderful. You capture the emotions and the atmosphere in a way that I'm sure keeps your clients coming back for more. Bravo!!
Lastly, I am super impressed at how sharp your photos look even at 1/40th. Do you use a tripod or monopod or is everything hand held?? I can't seem to get anything sharp below 1/60th :-( 07.20.10 - 5:15pm
Beautiful! Just one question. How do you get them sharp at those low shutter speeds? I find the people seem to move just that tiny bit and the image then doesn't come out sharp. 07.20.10 - 5:07pm
Thanks for sharing....Kathy 07.20.10 - 5:05pm
Very useful info, thank you Jasmine. I admire your steady hand, at such low shutter speeds you managed to get very sharp images. I'm going to try your tecnique in my next wedding, we have lots of churces here in Italy. Bye 07.20.10 - 5:01pm
Such a helpful post! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge adn experiences! 07.20.10 - 5:00pm
Love this post & SO needed it as I have run into this problem many times:) Thank you for shedding some light ;) on the issue!ha 07.20.10 - 4:47pm
This is post is very, very helpful!
Hey, did you photographed Ala Cortez wedding? Anyway, awesome post. 07.20.10 - 4:39pm
You are amazing! I've been reading for over a year, and I don't think I've ever commented on your blog posts (not sure why, because you have helped immensely!) Almost half of the weddings I photograph indoor ceremonies. I appreciate your posts so so much!!! 07.20.10 - 4:16pm
Jasmine, Thank you so much for posting this. I love FAQ posts to get a greater insight on you handle certain situations and how you shoot. I'm just starting to do wedding photography so I find these invaluable! I'd love to see many more! 07.20.10 - 4:13pm
Very helpful post, J*! You're a share-aholic, and I hope you know how much we love you for it!
07.20.10 - 4:05pm
Great post! Very helpful! Thanks for sharing Jasmine! 07.20.10 - 3:32pm
Nice post. You can be thankful that you are blessed with such good weather. I live in Scotland where I had a November wedding last year in Pitlochry where it was overcast and rained for most of the day. Spent most of the day on ISO 800+ outside and in the church. It calls for a steady hand at low shutterspeeds.
Here is some of the images from a Highland wedding
http://www.shaunward.co.uk/photoblog/?p=136 07.20.10 - 3:31pm
Jasmine, thanks so much for posting this, it has come at a really key time for me and I'm thrilled to see what you do. Equally loving the 5dmk2.. 07.20.10 - 3:27pm
Mike @ Esvy Photography
Oh by the way, do you handle low lit wedding receptions in the same fashion? Shooting conditions would seem totally different, considering everyone's dancing the electric slide/chicken dance/macarena/. I'm not sure a 1/25s exposure speed would cut it. Perhaps this deserves another blog post? 07.20.10 - 3:23pm
Hey Jasmine! Thanks for the examples in low light. Being a fan of natural light as well, I understand how a lack of it can be our weakest enemy. Looks like wide open primes are the best tool for the job. And oh my, that 5DII high ISO noise handling is smooth like butter! You may have just pushed me over the 5DII fence. Anyways, hope to see you live on your creativeLIVE session next month. Till then.. or till your next awesome blog post! 07.20.10 - 3:20pm
Jasmine* Hi friends! Here are a few follow-up answers to your questions: @MattRosman: No, I don't use a noise reduction softare. :) @BunnSalarzon: I try to use the aisle only once during the ceremony...I feel so awkward if I keep on using it...makes me feel like a distraction! :) @Jamie: I don't have a permanently set flash setting. There are so many factors playing into my settings (ceiling height, color of the walls, distance to the couple, etc), but I definitely suggest practicing in your house when you can and in different rooms to see how this changes things. @Wil: No, I don't think I have a steady hand...I've just trained myself how to shoot in this manner. I usually hold my breath and then fire off a few frames...or I lean against a wall when it's available. It's just a matter of focus and determination! :) @Tammie: The comparison is between the 5D and the 5DMII. @EviePerez: Yes, the first four pictures were taken with the original 5D. @Mark: The slowest I'll handhold is 1/30. I've done it before and it's quite common for me to shoot handheld at 1/40 in a dark church without a problem. :) @LaurieBracewell: Yes. Yes I know my settings for both flash and natural lighting before they're walking down the aisle. Before the processional, I'll practice with people sitting in the pews to get an idea of where I need to be, then I memorize those settings. Everything moves so fast that I realized I needed to work this way in order to achieve both looks. 07.20.10 - 3:09pm
Love this post! Thank you for sharing this great info. 07.20.10 - 3:02pm
These images are just truly fantastic. Love your work. 07.20.10 - 3:00pm
Thank you for this info. It couldn't be timelier. I am shooting my brother's wedding (only my second ever) and I am concerned about light for the reception. Do you ever have noise issues with the higher ISO? Or is it a given that the better camera eliminates that concern? 07.20.10 - 2:58pm
Great pictures. Just shot my first wedding last week. What a rush!
Do you use noise reduction software?
Keep it up! 07.20.10 - 2:21pm
Thanks for the helpful post! This has got to be one of the biggest stressors of mine. Constantly worrying about lighting in churches. Thanks again for shedding some light on it! Haha! =) 07.20.10 - 1:45pm
Jasmine!! AWESOME post!! But like the others I can't believe you can get in focus shots (no camera shake) at 1/40. Oh, wait. Yes I can. I've seen your arms, you are BUFF! Time to start doing my push ups I guess. ;) 07.20.10 - 1:39pm
Wow, super impressed you can get an in focus shot, especially with the beast 70-200 lens, at such slow shutter speeds! I feel like I'm living on the edge if I take it to 1/200! 07.20.10 - 1:38pm
Kristi I can't get over the amazing depth on the 2nd and 3rd shots! How in the heck do you do that?? 07.20.10 - 1:33pm
Very helpful! Thank-you for sharing. I shoot allot of church weddings in my little Pacific NW community. :) 07.20.10 - 1:31pm
Thanks for sharing your settings once again. This really does help and make me feel better when I may come across situations when flash is not allowed. Q. How often do you use the aisle during a ceremony? I have this weirdness about having guests see me up and down the aisle or even up front near the immediate family, but there were times that was the case and I had to move in or miss important shots the couples wanted. I usually try to stay on the sideline or back, but then all I'd get is everyone's backside (B&G and entire bridal party). Eeks! 07.20.10 - 1:30pm
jamie Tks Jasmine! for sure it helps.. next I know you're not a fan of flash, but if you can give us a few pointers on how to set your camera and flash...meaning, how do you set your camera settings in a low light situation with your flash? Tks! and keep it up... i'm soaking it in!!! 07.20.10 - 1:28pm
What an awesome post! Thank you so much for sharing. 07.20.10 - 1:24pm
Thanks for this post! Us mid-westerners unfortunately have to deal with low-light situations quite frequently, so this was some great info. :-) 07.20.10 - 1:22pm
Jasmine, thank you so much for this post! I also agree LOVE LOVE LOVE 5DM2 and it's high ISO capability. xoxo Brandy 07.20.10 - 1:20pm
I've been blessed to shoot only outdoor weddings as of late, but this is something I've definitely had problems with in the past! The worst church had a bright orange spot light on just the b&g. Horrible! 07.20.10 - 1:18pm
oh wow! you shoot awesome with the 5d, but I can clearly see the difference with the 5dmkII. It's so much creamier and smooth, even with the high ISO. That's the main reason I went from my 40d to my 5d, I needed my images to look better at 1600, withouth all the grain. Thank u so much for sharing your knowledge and experience :) 07.20.10 - 1:18pm
Jasmine, thank you so much for posting this. This is something that I have fought with and always doubted myself many times. I really appreciate your honesty and helpful insight. Thank you again! You rock! 07.20.10 - 1:17pm
Deb Peluso Oh my gosh, this is my biggest struggle! I just started second shooting and I dread dark churches! 07.20.10 - 1:16pm
*J - Bravo!! After reading this blog, I will test this out and try to recreate what you did!! St.Patricks Church here in New York would be perfect for this shot!! Thank you thank you!!
Rico - one of your newest fan from New York!! 07.20.10 - 1:15pm
Wil Wow you have super steady hand or what?? ..1/40 with 70-200 without tripod? :) 07.20.10 - 1:09pm
SOOOO helpful, Jasmine. So so helpful. I am scared to death of going above 400 iso EVER. And I shoot with the original 5D. Maybe I need to upgrade just for the iso capabilities, but I am so attached to the original! I never use flash during ceremonies ... I usually shoot with the 70-200L at 400 iso and about 1/60th shutter speed for indoor ceremonies ... works most the time (not always...). and man, the churches here are waaaaaaay uglier than the churches out there!! i'm happy we have barns at least ... or i'd so be moving :) 07.20.10 - 1:07pm
Jasmine* Hi friends! For those who asked all my photos are handheld as I don't use a tripod. And I use auto WB and tweak it later if it's too orange. Hope this helps! :) 07.20.10 - 1:04pm
Great GREAT post. Now I need to go out and get the 5D, haha! 07.20.10 - 12:57pm
How in the world are you shooting at 1/40th and below without shake?? Those are the shots with flash?? 07.20.10 - 12:56pm
Maga GREAT info and GREAT POST!
(am I really the first to comment today?) 07.20.10 - 12:55pm
Thanks so much for sharing these Jasmine! I can't believe the clarity on these pics with some of the shutter speeds being so slow. All handheld? Thanks again for all the sharing you do! :) 07.20.10 - 12:54pm
helps a lot :) thanks! 07.20.10 - 12:54pm
this is great information jasmine! thanks! 07.20.10 - 12:54pm
Dang it J* you're taking my questions and answering them!! (I'm putting together my thoughts and questions to ask for my 60 sec video ;) But thanks for answering them anyways - and love the comparison between the two camera bodies used...if the one pics were taken with the 5dmii what were the other one's taken with? (I shoot with a 50d and can't wait to upgrade to a 5dmii myself :) 07.20.10 - 12:53pm
thank you for sharing this w/the rest of us! I LOVE how you point out that this is how YOU do it & its not "by the book".Thanks! :) 07.20.10 - 12:51pm
Gina Oh, if only my camera performed well with high ISO's.
07.20.10 - 12:51pm
J* You are truly amazing at what you do. I had the hardest time doing photography in the dark extremely tall ceiling cathedrals found in DC. You read my mind, which has been constantly beggin for a FAQ post on this subject...or a relocation to the beautiful and sunny CA. Touche and a many many thanks. You are my homepage for a reason! XO 07.20.10 - 12:50pm
Wow, wow, wee.
So...on that note...white balance. Auto white balance in church's just comes out all orange-y for me...
what do you do, Jas? 07.20.10 - 12:49pm
J* this helps A LOT!!
I am wedding photographer from the UK & most of our weddings are indoors in dimly lit churches. I seem to think the same way - you can beat prime lenses ; ) 07.20.10 - 12:48pm
I'm with you on flashes. There handy, but not nearly as beautiful as natural lighting. Thanks so much for the tips!! 07.20.10 - 12:47pm
Michelle Collis Wow...awesome to see your settings! I'm wondering if these shots were done with a tripod or handheld? Some of the shutter speeds are pretty slow ! 07.20.10 - 12:46pm
These are all fantastic and if I weren't a photographer I would have never known these were shot without a flash. You have to be good with shooting wide open. I struggle with it. But will alway try to improve. Thanks for the post J. HOLLA! =) 07.20.10 - 12:46pm
Thank you so much for this post Jasmine!!! This is so helpful and at least it give me an idea. I wanted to ask you about your settings ever since you posted the LA Athletic club engagement session, but felt ridiculous. Were the first top pictures taken with the Old Canon 5D? Thanks again :) 07.20.10 - 12:45pm
Awesome tips, Jasmine (as always). Thanks for being so generous. Love reading your FAQ posts! 07.20.10 - 12:45pm
Debbie Hendren Jasmine thanks so much for posting the sample pics and info. I noticed that you shutter speed was very low. Did you have your camera on a tripod? I know I couldn't hand hold the camera a lens at that SS.
Thanks, Debbie 07.20.10 - 12:44pm
Awesome photos Jasmine! With your shutter speed so low in some of the photos (1/25) are you using a tripod? 07.20.10 - 12:42pm
this does help, love it cause many churches don't allow flash and it is challenging, I also love the post on how you set up at receptions with the off camera flash and stand, 07.20.10 - 12:40pm
Great post. Great examples. Thanks, Jas! 07.20.10 - 12:40pm
fabulous! great work! 07.20.10 - 12:38pm
CAllMeNina HUGE help! Thanks so much. This is an area where I've really been struggling. You're always so kid and thoughtful to the rest of us photogs:) 07.20.10 - 12:38pm
Renee WOW! This is great and your pictures are just AMAZING! I have a question though...are you using a tripod - i see that your shutter speed is low, unless i'm reading it wrong. Would love to know how you were able to get these in perfect focus! :) 07.20.10 - 12:38pm
GREAT post! I noticed for some of the photos that you shot with very slow shutterspeeds, 1/40 for example...how to you keep your shots so sharp at such low shutterspeeds? Or maybe it's just me....hahahah 07.20.10 - 12:38pm
emma Awesome to see the exif data next to the pictures, you have some serious skill lady! 07.20.10 - 12:37pm
Great post! I see that you slow your shutter quite a bit instead of cranking the ISO. I usually opt for a higher ISO and faster shutter so it's interesting to see how you do it :) 07.20.10 - 12:37pm
what about white balance? Do you change your white balance to compensate for tungsten or flourescent lighting? I set my Nikon D700 to the same setting but if I use auto white balance, they turn out VERY yellow... any suggestions? And, I'm from Kansas... MOST weddings are in churches. 07.20.10 - 12:36pm
Thank YOU, I was second shooter at my "1st wedding" this weekend and was a little disturbed that I had to go to 1600iso, 1/50 f2.8 on a 5d with my 70-200. How do you deal with noise? I was worried about blur, anything under 1/60. Whats your slowest you would hand hold? 07.20.10 - 12:36pm
im going today to buy the 5d mark ii..
anyone care to donate to my "5d" Fund?? lol
amazing shots. period. you are the bombdiggity!
07.20.10 - 12:35pm
Stunning shots and thank you for the insight! Lovely church ceremony images! Your way works pretty darn good if you ask me! But I'm no J* either! ;) Thank you for the FAQ post! 07.20.10 - 12:35pm
I would have to side with you on the flash...not a fan, but this last winter i had the "joy" of doing a candlelight wedding...UGH. That was the biggest challenge to date. Winter=Dark, Candle-light=DARK
I had to use flas, I had NO choice in the matter. My only saving Grace was that I got to go in the night before and see what I was working with.......Good thing. I actually was very proud of how I handled it. End result, only a few pics with shadowing, glare and noise. I am so glad I am not the only one who finds this a challenge. 07.20.10 - 12:35pm
Like you, I'm in an area where outdoor weddings are preferred, so I still haven't shot a church wedding, though I have one coming up in April.
I'm sure I'll be relying on my 24-70 & 70-200 f2.8's to get me through, but an 85mm f1.2 would be a lifesaver! Shame Nikon doesn't make anything like that! 07.20.10 - 12:34pm
BINGO!!!! I loved this post. I just started Bob Davis' book on lighting, so I'm ALL INTO LIGHT! This just post helped out even more! 07.20.10 - 12:34pm
That's where NR software, B&W or sometimes adding extra grain comes to the rescue, at least for me. Hi ISO gives pictures extra character because of the muted colors. You made the best of a difficult situation and it turned out great. 07.20.10 - 12:34pm
Thank you so much for posting these! Here in VA, we have mostly church/indoor weddings. Question: Do you know your camera and flash settings and then your non-flash camera settings before the ceremony even starts (when you said you turned the flash off after you got your safe shot)? Or do you do it all on the fly? Thanks Jas! 07.20.10 - 12:34pm
Thank you SO much for this Jasmine!! Huuuuuge help! You answered like 3 questions I had in one post :) 07.20.10 - 12:32pm
This is so helpful! Thank you for taking the time to post this. You're awesome! 07.20.10 - 12:31pm
ive shot a church ceremony with 2500 iso and I almost cried because it was so awesome. yay for high iso !!! :) 07.20.10 - 12:29pm
Melanie Hi Jasmine, Thanks for your faq posts, they are so helpful! Were you handholding all these shots or on a tri-pod? I have a hard time getting sharp images when I shoot with anything lower than 1/50. 07.20.10 - 12:26pm